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Once a Hooker, Always a Hooker: Coping with a Wool Allergy

Ask the Experts

By: Marie Sugar

Universe, 20" x 25", various yarns on monk's cloth.  Designed and hooked by Marie Sugar, Lancaster Pennsylvania, 2010.

I had been hooking for a little over 10 years when I developed a negative reaction to wool. It was more than just an allergy: I became ill with chronic bronchitis, sinus infections, and asthma when I breathed in the lint from the wool. My allergist said the lint I was breathing in was an irritant. Staying away from wool was the easy fix—but hooking rugs wasn’t something I could give up at the drop of a hook.

Desperately, I tried everything I could to cut down on the lint that was working its way into my airways. I hooked with wool yarn, but enough lint came off when I pulled it through the backing to affect me. I started using a mask when I hooked, but the mask was hot and uncomfortable and made hooking difficult.

This article is from the September/October 2012 issue. For more information on our issues, check out our issues page.


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